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Sturridge: We can fill Suarez void

ESPN staff
July 16, 2014 « We never opened Vidal talks, say Juve | Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
Suarez arrives at in-laws in Barcelona

Daniel Sturridge says Liverpool's squad need to "step up" and find a new star from within to fill the void left by Luis Suarez's departure to Barcelona.

While there has been no official confirmation from Liverpool, Barcelona claim Suarez is "100 percent" part of the club and that he has completed a £75 million transfer to the Nou Camp despite currently being banned for four months following a bite on Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup.

Brendan Rodgers faces a struggle to replace the 31 goals and 12 assists Suarez garnered last season, though Sturridge, who scored 24 himself, thinks Liverpool will have enough to build on their second-placed finish.

"People have to step up," Sturridge told Jamaica's Nationwide Radio. "When stars leave, a new star can be born, as they say.

"There are a lot of players that can take that mantle, but it is a team game, regardless of whether there are star players within that team. It's not about one person, it's about the team."

While Rodgers has signed Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic to build his squad up for the added demands of Champions League football, Sturridge is planning to take his "little brother" Raheem Sterling under his wing and help him become a key player for Liverpool after shining last season.

"Me and Raheem are very close," he continued. "To me, he's my little brother and I look after him and try to help him as a footballer and as a person.

"I didn't have anyone take me under their wing when I was his age, so it is important now that I understand my role, which is the big brother role. I guide him where I can, and that's as important as being his friend and his team-mate.

"It's going to be great. Raheem is a great player. He's young, but he's got a lot of talent, and talent that sometimes people don't get to see as well.

"He's young and he is still improving. He's already improved so much, which I am happy about, and he will continue to do that."

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